Monday, March 3, 2008
Sorry to worry everyone--We are fine
Pictures: top two: Caleb waiting in Kiev airport; middle two: new American citizen as we touched US soil in Minneapolis, Minnesota; bottom: finally home-all of our kids together at the Boise airport
Tuesday, Feb 26 was the big day for flying home. Again God just kept doing amazing things to help us. The first problem was that though I had emailed the landlady for the apt where we were staying, she had not yet responded and I didn't know where to leave the key. Here it's not such a big deal because you can usually just leave the key on a table or counter and lock the door behind you. There in Ukraine, however, we actually had to have the key to lock the door! I had phone numbers but couldn't seem to make them work--just kept getting a recording saying who knows what. And who should call but Dima asking me if I'd been able to contact the landlady. I told him my dilemna and he told me how to dial the number. Though the phone number started with 38, it seems you just dial the 8, wait for a dial tone and then dial the remainder of the number. So I tried that only to get a message that I needed to call back later. Dima called back to see if I'd been successful so I gave him the numbers and he got the same result. He told me to just leave the key with the driver and they'd take care of it for me.
Our main driver, something like 'Svla', drove us out to the airport, carried in my heavy bags, and got us to the area where you wait until your flight comes up on the screen. We were there in such good time that we had about 55 minutes to wait but I was about 2nd in line at the counter for flights to Amsterdam. Problem: I had confirmation number but no ticket number. The lady nicely showed we where the KLM ticket counter was but my heart sank when I saw the sign in the dark window saying hours were from 1300 to 1800. My flight was to leave at 1255. I had no way to reach Dima, driver, Kevin. So I'm standing there wondering what I should do and praying in my heart when a lady enters the ticket office, opens the window, moves the sign and helps me out. For some reason, the ticket hadn't yet been charged out and thankfully I actually knew where my credit card was. So several dollars later I was happy to walk back up to the Amsterdam desk (the long line of people had disappeared by now) and hand the agent the proper paperwork.
I had been handed a sealed envelope at the embassy and given strict orders to deliver it unopened to the immigration desk in the US so once on the flight I put it safely in the seat pocket in front of me. I had a nice flight to Amsterdam--the fine Christian lady and gentlemen on the aisle seats were returning to the US for their 10-day wait after court. And the couple and their daughter that I'd met in the embassy were just a few seats ahead. But again my heart sank when I got to the end of the flight and discovered that my sealed envelope had ripped about 3/4 of the way across the bottom. I was horrified and wondered what would happen in such a case, whether the immigration folks would believe that it was accidental, etc. But I was starting to get the clue that God was directing our steps and He had helped me out with so many details already that surely He had this one under control as well. Sure enough when we finally got to the US many, many, many hours later the lady at the immigration desk didn't give me any hassle at all. And young Mr. Caleb became a US citizen when we touched US soil. So cool!
I found out something really awe-inspiring when I was at Bible study Wednesday night. Somebody had told my Mom prior to our travel they had seen a woman and child surrounded by angels and believed it was Caleb and Joy. With all the potential problems we'd run into and all the problems solved the way they were, I would have to definitely agree.
We had quite a layover at Minneapolis but finally got on the plane for Boise. I had to kind of laugh because as everyone who has traveled recently knows, you go through security over and over down to taking off your boots and passport pouch. Liquids have to be travel size and in clear zip-lock bags. But on that last flight there was no more security, several of us were very openly carrying water bottles and one even had a Coke cup and no one cared. We got into Boise about 11:20 pm and meeting my husband and children there was one of the sweetest, happiest, huggingest moments of my life. We got home about 3 am (about 29 1/2 hours since I'd awakened in Kiev) excited, tired and safe. Thanks more than I can express for all your care and prayers during this adoption journey.